Milwaukee Admirals name Kirk Muller coach

Kirk Muller appears to be a surefire future NHL coach, having spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens after a standout 19-season career as a player.

Muller took another step toward that eventual goal Monday when he was named the head coach of the Nashville Predators' AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.

"Kirk Muller was everything we were looking for in our development coach," Nashville General Manager David Poile said in a statement. "With his playing pedigree, experience as a captain and Stanley Cup winner, and his solid communication skills, we feel our young players and prospects are in great hands."

Muller, a native of Kingston, Ont., is credited for transforming Montreal's penalty-killing unit that has finished in the top half of the League each season since his arrival, including a seventh-place ranking in 2010-11. The Canadiens did not give up a power-play goal in their first-round series loss to the Bruins, going 21-for-21. During his second season behind the Montreal bench in 2007-08, the club posted its best record since the 1988-89 club the advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, going an Eastern Conference best 47-25-10 (105 points).

Prior to joining the Montreal staff on June 20, 2006, Muller spent one season as head coach of the Queen's University Golden Gaels (Canadian University) in his hometown of Kingston. He also served as an assistant coach on Canada's entries at the 2005 Lotto Cup Tournament, winning a gold medal, and the 2006 Under-18 World Championships.

The No. 2 pick by New Jersey in the 1984 Entry Draft, Muller posted 357 goals and 959 points in 1,349 regular-season games for the Devils, Canadiens, Islanders, Maple Leafs, Panthers and Stars. He added 33 goals and 69 points in 127 playoff games, and won the Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993. The nine-time 20-goal scorer and five-time 30-goal man played in six NHL All-Star Games (1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993), with his best season coming in 1992-93, when the left winger tied a career-high with 94 points (37g-57a) and pitched in 17 (10g-7a) more during the run to the Cup. He also represented Canada at four World Championships (1985, 1986, 1987, 1989) and in the 1984 Olympics.